Protest in Melbourne, Sydney CBD today as thousands march against mandatory COVID vaccinations
Police have responded in numbers to almost a dozen simultaneous protests against the coronavirus vaccine across the country.
Coordinated Facebook events at 11 locations across the country called “Millions March Against Mandatory COVID Vaccinations” were carried out on Saturday morning.
The protests were held despite there being no indication the upcoming coronavirus vaccine will be compulsory for the wider public.
At the Melbourne protest, demonstrators turned out in their hundreds at Fawkner Park in South Yarra.
People held signs reading anti-vax rhetoric such as “health can not be injected” and “faith over fear”.
The crowd then carried out a supervised march, which resulted in a local club cricket match being put on pause while protesters walked around the pitch.
At least one protester was seen to by police for refusing to dismantle a flagpole almost 2m in full height.
Meanwhile, in Sydney, disgraced celebrity chef Pete Evans was billed to make a rare public appearance for a rally at Hyde Park.
He has repeatedly claimed that the coronavirus vaccine is dangerous, which resulted in him being de-platformed from social media.
About 5,700 people had registered their interest on Facebook to attend the Sydney rally – with police monitoring closely.
Rallies were also held in Adelaide and Perth on Saturday.
The demonstrators were largely rallying against making the vaccines mandatory – but some were simply protesting the vaccines themselves.
Australians will begin rolling up their sleeves – voluntarily – on Monday.
The Pfizer vaccine will be distributed to frontline and quarantine workers, aged care workers and residents and disability care workers and residents first.
From there, the rollout of the vaccine will progressively ramp up to include the AstraZeneca/Oxford University jab.
Both have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration.